Thursday, November 08, 2012

Edinburgh set to introduce the Living Wage

Published Thursday 8 November 2012

Edinburgh set to introduce the living wage

Thousands of Council staff are set to benefit from the introduction of the living wage from January next year.

The proposal, announced during Living Wage Week is to set the figure at £7.50, five pence above the recommended rate.

This will be one of the first Capital Coalition pledges agreed at the Council meeeting in August to be delivered.
A report setting out the advantages of introducing the living wage will be considered at the Council meeting in December. The increase in pay will make staff feel more valued, leading to improved wellbeing and improved attendance at work. This will in turn lead to increased productivity in the workplace which will improve the delivery of Council services across the city.
More than two thousand staff will benefit from the increase, the large proportion of whom are women working in jobs such as carers and cleaners. New Modernising Pay pay and conditions introduced in 2010 gave all staff fairer, equal and more flexible pay and the living wage will take this a step further.

Cllr Alasdair Rankin, Convener of the Finance and Budget Committee, said: "I am delighted that the Capital Coalition has been able to deliver its pledge to introduce the living wage so early in its term of office. We are able to do this whilst also delivering on our pledge to manage the Council's finances responsibly and effectively in a time of real financial constraints.

"Our firm intention is to deliver quality and efficient services to the people of the city to the fullest extent we can by deploying the Council's staff and resources to best effect. Showing that we value all our staff will help to achieve that goal."

What this will mean for Council employees:

A cook/cleaner at entry level of £6.46 working full time with a pension will increase take home pay by around £105 per month or £1270 per annum.

The same person without a pension will increase take home pay by around £110 per month or £1328 per annum.

Cllr Bill Cook, Vice Convener, said: "For me it's simply a matter of fairness. People should get a decent wage for working. It's a strange logic that claims that it's essential to give the rich more and the poor less in order for the economy to work. Where in fact, as is widely recognised, a fair wage strategy will undoubtedly stimulate the economy and have a positive effect socially. Our workforce is the most important asset we've got. It's absolutely vital that we recognise the contribution that they make through their hard work to the welfare of Edinburgh's people."

The living wage is supported by a number of private and public sector organistions including KPMG and Barclays Bank. Earlier this week the Scottish Goverment announced that they would be paying the living wage to employees working in parts of the public sector.

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